The Gun Owner Next Door


The Journal News?which serves a portion of the New York City area?obtained databases of the names of citizens who had gun permits and where they lived. Chief Editor Caryn McBride must decide whether it?s ethical to publish this information, even though they are public records.
Background: Map: Where are the gun permits in your neighborhood?
Case Study 1 & 2 ? Format Paper # 1-70 points Paper # 2 -80 points
In these first two papers, you?ll do a case study, using the SAD formula. Check the ?Schedule-Week 1? for details on the first case that is assigned.
This paper should run about 5 pages, typed and double-spaced. Use the following format and label each section using the headings and subheadings listed below and file this on the class Canvas in the TurnItIn folder on the main page.
I Situation Definition
(This is where you outline the facts and context of the case.)
A. The Facts: Briefly and objectively describe the facts as outlined in the case. (I shouldn?t be able to guess your opinion and decision after reading the description.) NOTE: Bring this section to the point of ethical decision. Be sure to introduce us to the key players, including the decision maker.
B. Conflicting Values and Principles: Identify and discuss the conflicting values and principles that are at play. For example, does the case involve truth, privacy, conflict of interest, the public?s right to know, harm, fairness, justice, loyalty, media credibility, harm to others, confidentiality, etc.? Name the values, and discuss how they are at play in the case. Which values and principles seem to collide? If your values don?t conflict, keep looking.
C. Competition and Economic Factors: In real-life deadline situations these competitive and economic factors often dominate. State both the economic and competitive factors at play.
D. Statement of Ethical Question: Clearly state the ethical question. (Note that you need to phrase it as a question.) This question should be specific to the case, including the name and title of the decision maker, name of the media organization, and the narrow issue at hand.
II Analysis?Evaluate the ethical alternatives:
A. Weigh the values: Consider the conflicting values and principles in the case, and weigh them. Create a hierarchy. What is the most important value? Explain why. What comes next? Rank all the values at play in the case. Identify the key values that conflict. Then, discuss why your most important values outweigh the others. (This is the part students tend to leave out.)
Note: This is the heart of the paper. The decisions you make here will help you later when you tackle the ?moral theories? section.
B. External Factors: Examine the external factors that might influence the moral judgment. External factors are those in place before a case arises, and that will be there after the case is resolved. They include factors such as precedent, legal constraints, company policy, professional code, what?s routinely done in similar situations, make-up of the audience, etc. Think ?big picture? here. If you?ve included something in this section that might change because of, or during the case, then it probably doesn?t belong in this section.
C. Loyalties: Examine the loyalties the specific decision maker owes to each of these groups and individuals. (Examine all six in every paper.)
1.individual conscience
2.those directly affected supporters
4.the institution
5.professional colleagues
D. Emotions: Describe and discuss the emotions at play in the case. Name the emotions specifically.
E. Moral Theories: Apply ethical theories to the moral dilemma. Examine the case from the following perspectives. (When applying these theories, refer to the values you?ve identified as most important in the ?relative weights? section.)
1.consequence-based ethics (teleology)
2.duty-based ethics (deontology)
3.Aristotle?s golden mean
III Decision ?
A. My decision: Make your decision, calling on one of the three moral theories.
B. Justification: Defend your recommendation. Assume that you?re the boss, and that this is your explanation to your staff about why you?ve chosen this path.